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Chapter 5 - O-2 Beneficiaries

A. General

USCIS may classify beneficiaries who are essential to an O-1 beneficiary’s artistic or athletic performance and are coming solely to assist in that performance as O-2 accompanying beneficiaries.[1] The O-2 beneficiary must be an integral part of the actual performance or event and possess critical skills and experience with the O-1 that are not of a general nature and that U.S. workers do not possess.[2]

If the O-2 beneficiary is accompanying an O-1 beneficiary in the television or motion picture industry, he or she must have skills and experience with the O-1 beneficiary that are not of a general nature and skills that are critical, due to a pre-existing or long-standing working relationship with the O-1 beneficiary. If he or she is accompanying the O-1 beneficiary for a specific production only, the person may be eligible for an O-2 classification because significant production (including pre- and post-production work) will take place both inside and outside the United States and the continuing participation of the O-2 beneficiary is essential to the successful completion of the production.

USCIS may not grant O-2 classification for beneficiaries to support O-1 beneficiaries with extraordinary ability in fields of business, education, or science.[3]

The O-2 beneficiaries may not work separate or apart from the O-1 beneficiaries they support and may change employers only in conjunction with a change of employer by the O-1 beneficiary. Although multiple beneficiaries may be included on a single O-2 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129), they cannot be included on the O-1 beneficiary’s petition.

B. Documentation and Evidence

A petition for an O-2 beneficiary who will accompany an O-1A (athlete) or O-1B (artist) of extraordinary ability must be supported by evidence that the O-2 beneficiary is coming to the United States to assist in the performance of the O-1 beneficiary. The O-2 beneficiary must be an integral part of the actual performance and have critical skills and experience with the O-1 beneficiary that are not of a general nature and not possessed by a U.S. worker.[4]

A petition for an O-2 beneficiary who will accompany an O-1B (MPTV) beneficiary of extraordinary achievement must be supported by:

  • Evidence of the current essentiality, critical skills, and experience of the O-2 beneficiary with the O-1 beneficiary and evidence that the O-2 beneficiary has substantial experience performing the critical skills and essential support services for the O-1 beneficiary; or

  • In the case of a specific motion picture or television production, evidence that significant production has taken place outside the United States and will take place inside the United States, and that the continuing participation of the O-2 beneficiary is essential to the successful completion of the production.[5]

Footnotes


1. [^] See INA 101(a)(15)(O)(1)(ii).

2. [^] See 8 CFR 214.2(o)(4)(ii).

3. [^] See 8 CFR 214.2(o)(4).

4. [^] See 8 CFR 214.2(o)(4)(ii)(A).

5. [^] See 8 CFR 214.2(o)(4)(ii)(C).

Resources

Legal Authorities

8 CFR 214.2(o) - Special requirements for admission, extension, and maintenance of status (aliens of extraordinary ability or achievement)

8 CFR 214.2(o)(4) - Petition for an O-2 accompanying alien

INA 101(a)(15)(O) - Extraordinary ability in arts or athletics

INA 101(a)(46) - Definition of “extraordinary ability” in the arts

INA 214(c) - Admission of nonimmigrants

Appendices

No appendices available at this time.

Updates

POLICY ALERT - O Nonimmigrant Visa Classification

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to update and consolidate guidance related to O nonimmigrant classifications.

Read More
POLICY ALERT - Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements Final Rule

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is revising its policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to align with the Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements Final Rule, published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2020. This guidance becomes effective October 2, 2020. For information regarding implementation, see our litigation summary.

Read More
Technical Update - Moving the Adjudicator’s Field Manual Content into the USCIS Policy Manual

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating and incorporating relevant Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) content into the USCIS Policy Manual. As that process is ongoing, USCIS has moved any remaining AFM content to its corresponding USCIS Policy Manual Part, in PDF format, until relevant AFM content has been properly incorporated into the USCIS Policy Manual. To the extent that a provision in the USCIS Policy Manual conflicts with remaining AFM content or Policy Memoranda, the updated information in the USCIS Policy Manual prevails. To find remaining AFM content, see the crosswalk (PDF) between the AFM and the Policy Manual.

Technical Update - Replacing the Term “Foreign National”

This technical update replaces all instances of the term “foreign national” with “alien” throughout the Policy Manual as used to refer to a person who meets the definition provided in INA 101(a)(3) [“any person not a citizen or national of the United States”].